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Opinions of Friday, 3 May 2019

Columnist: Sidikatu Yakubu

From the North-k girl: Mother-in-law saga

As usual we ladies like to chitchat when we meet. The discussion was on mother-in-law and you won’t believe that out of the five ladies, I was the only one in support of having a mother-in-law who wasn’t dead. I didn’t want to argue that very day so I diverted their attention to issues on campus. On a different occasion this same topic shot its head up. I asked why they didn’t want a mother-in-law. One said her husband will be controlled by his mother. Then a different one said all attention will be given to his mother. The other said she will be maltreated by the mother etc. I used my family as an example.

My parents have six children, all ladies and a gentleman who fell in love with a very beautiful lady. Initially this lady was scared of living with us because people who didn’t know us described the family in a way that was appalling. Finally the marriage was conducted so she became ‘our’ wife. My mother is very strict and disciplines us on the spot no matter what. The bride is from a different home so it is difficult acclimatizing with us which is normal. There are times she goes wrong but my mother just turns a blind eye at it.

Sundays are a bit of a specialty in my house. And this reflects in our choice of food on that day. Fufu is prepared with soup and stew already prepared and refrigerated. When the fufu is ready, my mother dishes daddy’s and hers out and then calls my brother’s wife to dish out hers and her husband’s too. Mother owns a shop in Accra. And during vacations, we the children take charge as she takes respite at home. Those times are special. Chobo di33 abi you know dada”.

When we return home, we usually see mother or father sometimes both mother and father chatting with my brother’s wife. We have become so accustomed to her that we even crack jokes that go beyond the normal. There are times we tell her that her mother’s house is in Dansoman and that she should leave our mother for us. Mother will laugh and our ‘annoying’ in-law will respond that this is her house since we’re all ladies we will all leave. We laugh over it and talk about serious matters.

Fortunately or unfortunately I had someone who wanted to marry me. He went to see my dad and took me to his mother since his dad is no more.

I was scared because I thought she won’t like me as an in-law. Immediately I entered she was mashing kenkey I knelt down and greeted her. I was so shy and scared to the extent that I couldn’t help her with what she was doing. Her son left so we could talk. She was down to earth, religious and sweet. I can’t say I know her that much but the bond was just there. She advised me and never favoured her son. She took my contact and we became best of friends.

He had the chance to join one of the service work and we know that the training is hectic. For weeks I do not hear from him but mummy as I call her checks up on me always. She makes dua for me and you know advice will follow. We stood firm in hard times but unfortunately things didn’t work out as planned with her son. She could have stopped texting or talking to me but she didn’t.

The point here is simple. The mishap between some in-laws should not be the basis for all ladies to wish to have a home free of the husband’s mothers. There are very wonderful mother-in-laws out there. Humans aren’t perfect but I believe if we are very careful in choosing a spouse then we shouldn’t worry about any mother in law dying before we marry. After all, behind every successful person, stands a very successful mother-in-law.